Colombia and Farc sign peace agreement

By BBC

The Colombian government and the Farc rebel group have signed a historic peace accord, putting an end to more than five decades of conflict.

Both sides have agreed to work together to address social exclusion, to deliver justice to the victims of the conflict and build a stable and enduring peace.

The announcement was made in the Cuban capital, Havana, where peace talks were launched in November 2012.

The conflict has killed an estimated 220,000 people and displaced millions.

“The Colombian government and the Farc announce that we have reached a final, full and definitive accord,” they said in a joint statement.

The head of the Colombian delegation, Humberto de la Calle, and the chief Farc negotiator, Ivan Marquez, signed the agreement at a ceremony in Cuba.

“We have reached our goal,” said Mr De la Calle.

“The war is over but also there is also new beginning. This agreement opens the door to a more inclusive society,” he added.

The two sides had signed a bilateral ceasefire in June, paving the way for a final agreement.

“It has been a difficult job, with bright and dark moments,” said Mr Marquez.

“But we have worked with our hearts. And we can say now it is possible to take our country forward,” he added.

President Barack Obama phoned his Colombian counterpart, Juan Manuel Santos, to congratulate him on the deal.

“The president recognised this historic day as a critical juncture in what will be a long process to fully implement a just and lasting peace agreement that can advance security and prosperity for the Colombian people,” said the White House in a statement.

  

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